6 Examples of When Coaching Could Help

*Guest post by Alyssa Mullett, SHRM-CP, PC

A variety of challenging situations occur in healthcare every day that can be addressed, mitigated and even solved with the aid of a professional coach. In their August 2017 NEJM Catalyst article, Drs. Adelman and Liebschutz relay the dire need for coaching: “Coaching focuses on provider well-being and performance challenges in the current pressurized environment in which mounting rates of physician burnout represent what medical ethicist Arthur Caplan has characterized as a public health crisis.” A professional coach can help an organization address individuals who are underperforming, burned out or exhibiting disruptive behavior. Here are 6 examples:

1. A physician with a “picture-perfect” family propositions a patient or uses flirtatious language with a medical assistant. This conduct and a history of more subjectively minor inappropriate behaviors can be reviewed, and perspective without professional conflict be gleaned through coaching. A heightened and maintained awareness outside oneself is the goal a professional coach can help obtain.

2. Physician colleagues scream at each other in the office or give each other the silent treatment. A neutral third party is ideally suited to assist in getting to the root of the issues and mediating a truce.

3. Administration and physicians develop “camps,” meaning staff is constantly put in the middle of the conflict. Cohesiveness can be restored when a professional coach who is experienced in healthcare can fairly and objectively work through the operational mine fields that exist in some practices.

4. A significant departure from a previously jovial and enthusiastic disposition, a burned-out executive now closes their door; or a physician has become a frazzled, always running behind mess. Coaching opens pathways to reacquaint you with professional and personal passions that have extinguished. Passion combined with a newfound purpose are some of the most common goals achieved with professional coaching.

5. A Jekyll-and Hyde-personality takes up residence in your practice and each day brings a new round of drama to the team. A professional coach can help an individual examine what their true goals are and determine more effective tools and behaviors (read: less drama) to obtain them.

6. The new administrator still struggles to “click” with the team; or the senior physician is unsure of his footing in this new era and wonders what his real worth to the group is anymore. Coaching is the ultimate gift to spectrum of employment, as it offers what is at the core of most of our needs: to be listened to and truly heard. No matter the situation, this is a fundamental result of coaching success.

Alyssa Mullett, SHRM-CP, PC, is a professional coach who works one-on-one with physicians and executives to tackle the issues that live behind closed doors. When organizations don’t know how to help doctors or executives who are underperforming, overwhelmed, disruptive or at risk for separation, they call Alyssa. If you or someone in your practice is experiencing any of these issues, coaching could be the solution.


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